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positively declare ; but assuredly never was there a better or more fitting pet-notion furnished foreigner from the bounteous bosom of our blessed vernacular. The first time I heard it from the lips of the signor, I was lost in admiration, and not doubting it was the precursor of some profound discourse, I composed myself to listen with an emotion of thankful expectancy; the second time, I was taken less by surprise, and noted with new delight the gesture, glance, and preparatory ahem; by and by, I became accustomed to it, and never ascended the bigh winding stairs which led to the old man's apartment, without an indefinite anticipation, or descended them without a lurking lingering sense of my friends pet-110tion. I seem even now to hear him. I admired to go thither with novices, to witness the effect. It was aston. ishing with what facility he introduced the phrase into conversation, no matter what its nature or end. Whether speaking of the latest political intelligence, of the weather, of the opera, of dinner, of time past, present or fu. ture ; of this or that man, woman or child, of books or beggars, of war or walking, of money or martyrdom ;-still, still would be gravely, solemnly, fondly reiterate, “My dear sir, human nature has always been the same.'
The natural interest in the principle of life which characterises human beings, influences their pet-notions. We instinctively love animation—the embodying of a living, moving, self-actuating energy. Hence the most generally cherished pet-notions are taken from the animal world. And herein I again recognize a true humanity in these foibles of the affections; if such they may be called. I have found those who make an intimate of some lone member of the feathered tribe, find companionship in one of the canine species, or tenderly care for a steed, generally prove, in the double and best sense of the term, clever fellows. I know much is said of the dearth of domestic attachment, of the folly of bestowing so much care on a brute, &c.; but, when not over-indulged, such pet-notions are usually discoverable in whole-hearted and susceptible beings. I have heard of an eccentric En. glishman who petted an oyster many years, feeding it with oat-meal till its size was prodigious. No less cheerful are the little back yards of the French metropolis, because at noon and eve the white-capped housewife provokes the mocking.bird, whose cage hangs under the vine leaves, by her endearing greetings, to echo every note of the woodland. The favored dove that stoops at sun. rise to the window, and quaintly turns upward her spark. ling eye as she perches on the fair hand which has nour. ished her ; the spaniel who leaps to hail the return of his master, despised old bachelor though he be; the tabby favorite who purs forth her love in the lap of her whose blessedness were otherwise indeed single ; the pampered gold fish in their glassy globe, and the froward kid who looks in at the door,-indicate to the reflective observer that the freshness and expansion of humanity have not departed from the dwelling ; that love is there, albeit some of its overflowings fall soothingly even upon the soulless brute.
sail paper.boats. Dr. Johnson used to save orauge-peel and feed his cat with oysters. Many a milliner's appren. tice cherishes a box of mignonette, and the poorest clerk can afford to keep a geranium in his window-of which the feel of the leaf, says Hunt has a household warmth in it somewhat analogous to clothing and comfort.' A man in Germany, once collected a large number of ropes with which criminals had been executed; and a monk passed years in atteinpting to gather all the prints of the Madonna ever issued.
Vaucluse was as odd and withal as affectionate as any of the students at the university of
I have sel. dom known a more singular pet-notion, or one more fond. ly petted than was his. He was romantic in the extreme, and the mysterious appearance of his notion coupled with a highly romantic era in its history, which I will relate, combined to deepen the pride and interest with which he cherished his pet. He was gazing thoughtfully from his window, just as the sun beamed brightly upon the sill, when bending his eye thither, from an aperture beneath, he saw a young toad spring out and composedly seat himself in the genial rays. Presently an unfortunate fly sailing languidly by, was snapped at, and devoured in a twinkling, by the speckled intruder, and this act of destructiveness was repeated at intervals, until the shadows darkened the sill, when the toad quietly retreated to his hole. Vaucluse marked this for a white day in his monotonous life. Already his heart yearned toward the independent fly hunter. He found something singularly interesting in his appearance and manners. There was a touch
of misanthropy, a grave contempt of the world, a magis trate-like dignity, a solitary quietude and an honest bach. elorism about the toad, that chimed in with the student's humor. He determined to adopt and cherish him; and accordingly was at the window, to welcome his pet-notion, as soon as Sol brightened the sill, and joining in the fly hunt, he daily surfeited the stomach of his favorite till he looked, for all the world, like a Dutch alderman. Things were in this state, when Vaucluse was disturbed in the midst of his feeding operations, by the abrupt entrance of the last man he wished to see, under such circumstances. It was no other than Snider, a medical student, noted for his sarcastic drollery, and prematurely, by complais. ance, ycleped doctor. The toad-fosterer prepared himself for a wit-battering ; but he looked upon the child of his adoption and felt a martyr's courage nerve him. What was his surprise to see his friend assume an ex. pression of sadness as his eye rested on the toad, and then look mournfully in his face.
6. What's the matter ?" he enquired.
“Vaucluse,” he replied solemnly, “ I'm sorry for you ;" and he drew out his handkerchief.
“For heaven's sake, explain yourself; this suspense is insupportable.”
“Is it possible that a man of your intelligence has suffered himself to be deceived ?"
“My dear doctor, do, do, I pray you, speak.”
“ Know then, Vaucluse, that your unwise pampering has induced the incipient symptoms of apoplexy in yon
“No; you are not in earnest”
"I am. Mark his distended sides, his gasping breath, his heavy eyes.- Vaucluse, he cannot survive the night, but through the application of immediate medical aid.”
“ Say not so. Can you, my dear doctor, can you cure him?"
“ If the case is unconditionally left with me.”
" Doctor, I fear to trust you ; but there's no remedy. Do what thou wilt, but do it quickly."
“ The eye of the young Esculapius brightened; the toad was his first patient. Softly upheaving the sash, he gently lifted the wheezing animal from his warm seat, and raising him as if more nearly to inspect the gustatory organs, he suddenly ejected from his mouth into the open maw of the unfortunate toad, an immense quid of half-consumed cavendish ; then replacing him, he awaited only to see him sneeze thrice, with a shudder swallow the pill, and retire to his dark abode ; then glancing at the confounded and indignant Vaucluse, he made his exit, murmuring the while_emetic and cathartic -large dose-operation protracted result-general reduction of the system.”
Why need I relate the vigils of a romantic student who vainly watches for the coming of his pet-notion ? Suffice it to say that days, weeks, nay a whole month flew by, and the toad greeted not the eyes of Vaucluse. “ Hope dark. ened into anxiety, anxiety into dread, and dread into despair.” The solitary student observed the first monthly anniversary of his pet's departure by unusual moodines and abstinence. When the sun kissed the white surface of the window sill, he stood with a fixed eye, folded arms